Ruin & Rising
by Leigh Bardugo
The capital has fallen.
The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.
Now the nation’s fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.
Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.
Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova’s amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling’s secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.
Here we are, back again! I might have babbled a lot during the first two book reviews of the Grisha trilogy but I swear, I have calmed down now. As I said before I loved the trilogy and I absolutely loved some of the characters.
I suppose, I should warn you that this review might not be spoiler free. So, if you have yet to read the book, turn back now.
This book brought the conclusion that not many people were happy with and I can understand their dissatisfaction to a certain point. Romantic ending with the Darkling and them ruling over Ravka could have been a sensational end but if I am being frank, I liked the ending we were given a little bit more. This could make some people unhappy but it’s the truth. If we are to think about this in a logical way, the series ended in the best way possible.
The secondary characters were fabulous in this one, Nikolai once again stole the show and my heart, of course. I do have to admit that I cried when Baghra’s story unfolded and well, it was such a sorrowful tale. Her love for her son, her greed to give her son everything (I think she meant it literally?) and in the end, she still had the guts to face the monster she had created. I loved the Darkling as well, as a character, he did grow in a way. Whatever he was, whatever he used to be, there still remained something in him that was light, that wasn’t corrupt.
It was a tiny part, admittedly but I am glad that tiny part was there and it didn’t magically change him. The tragedy of his life, of Alina’s life, of Baghra’s life….everything made this book sadder than I was expecting it to be. As the books progressed, we got to see more of Mal and what he really was and the third book revealed the boy that Alina fell in love with.
This Mal had matured and began to see things beyond his own heart. This Mal I was happy to see, if I am being honest.
I also absolutely loved Tolya and Tamar, Zoya and Genya….they were all so fantastic. Even the freaking priest was well written, his convenient religious beliefs and cunning was all very delightfully frustrating. I have to say overall, the trilogy is a fun read and I could literally see how the author’s writing improved by leaps and bounds between the first and the third book.
Overall, for me, it was a very satisfying end and I would recommend it to anyone who’s a fan of fantasy and politics (to a certain extent) and good side characters. The plot moved wonderfully, even though there wasn’t as much action as in the previous books. Totally worth giving a shot, I think.